All in all, it’s not a terrible time to go golfing.

Restrictions for golf courses to operate during Stage 1 of Alberta’s relaunch strategy mean some changes to the way the game is played. But
less-frequent tee times also mean there’s no crowding, even during peak times.

Restrictions include one person per golf cart, unless they are members of the same household. Measures are in place to prevent touching surfaces, such as not allowing the flagstick to be removed from holes, no rakes in the sand traps, and even no holes—golfers putt towards a raised cylinder instead of into a sunken cup.

Clubhouse activity is limited, which takes away from “19th-hole” traditions. Some courses have food and drink pickup available so golfers can enjoy a bite and a beverage outside while maintaining two metres’ distance between people.

Still, there was a steady stream of activity at the Palm Springs course at Cold Lake Golf and Winter Club on Saturday. The long gaps between tee times allowed golfers to play at a leisurely pace without holding up the party behind them.

Retirees are of course welcome patrons at golf clubs, not least because they are able to give the course some business during off-peak times. Now more than ever, clubs welcome the support of members and green-fees golfers to keep some revenues flowing.

Courses are in great early-season shape—take advantage of the weather if you can, and enjoy half a day on the links. Just remember that hygiene and distancing guidelines still apply, for everyone’s safety.

Physical distancing on the course means you can take your time on the green.   JEFF GAYE